On a Wednesday, I was contacted by Imran’s father to photograph an Indian Engagement Party on the upcoming Sunday. I happily agreed, knowing that he was a good friend and client of Mr. & Mrs. Reed of P&L Speedprint, who are very good friends of mine. I was also eager to photograph my first Indian Engagement.
I arrived a bit early and was warmly greeted by Nooreen’s family, offered food and a seat. It was a very warm day, but the fans in the house kept it cool. I was then taken upstairs to meet Nooreen and saw her get wrapped in her gorgeous beaded sari. Turquoise and pink are my favourite colour combination and the two looked amazing on Nooreen. After the sari was tucked and pinned perfectly, Nooreen put on a big jeweled necklace and matching earrings. She looked like a princess, I was so excited to take pictures of her. Nooreen was full of smiles, making small touches here and there, waiting to go downstairs.
Imran and his family arrived and started their procession up the stairs to the threshold of Nooreen’s aunt’s house. Gifts, hugs, kisses and smiles were exchanged when they were finally invited inside. It was exciting to see two large families join together over such a loving occasion.
The families seated themselves and Imran waited at the bottom of the stairs. It was finally time, and Imran’s sister walked Nooren down the stairs to Imran’s loving embrace.
The ceremony was so much fun! Family members from both sides came up to the couple sitting on the couch, made a dot of saffron paste on their foreheads, threw rice over the couple to represent prosperity, abundance and bounty of nature, fed them candies to symbolize the sweetness of their love, and brought their heads together. At this point, the blessers could either whisper advice or well wishes to the couple or perform what I think is called “Dukhna” where they crack their fingers on their own heads to symbolize the breaking of all of the evil forces. There were a few more steps that I missed, please excuse me, I’m new to this!
After the ceremony, the guests socialized outside and in while the delicious scent of food wafted over to me. Over five different people asked me to either go get food, or asked me if I had gotten food yet. I was so excited to eat, the food looked and tasted amazing. As night fell over the house, the rooms cooled down and my hair frizzed up. It was time for dessert! Nooreen’s family brought out fruit platters, three different kinds of cake including Nooreen and Imran’s engagement cake.
All the guests and family took care of me like I was a king, offering me all sorts of different things, even when I was walking out the door I was handed some spice tea. Put Chai tea to shame! I would have easily taken the whole dispenser home for myself.
I had a great time photographing this event and it was a pleasure being welcomed so warmly into Nooreen and Imran’s special day. I wish them both the best of luck.